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COMETTANT, Oscar, born at Bordeaux, April 18, 1819, entered the Paris Conservatoire in Nov. 1839, where he studied under Elwart and Carafa till the end of 43. He first became known as a pianist, and as the author of a number of pieces for that instrument, duets for piano and violin, as well as songs and choruses. He also came forward as a writer, and soon obtained reputation as the musical critic of the 'Siècle,' with which he is still connected (1877). Comettant has an easy, humorous, brilliant style; he is a great traveller, and has published a large number of books on various subjects which are both instructive and pleasant reading. Of his musical works, the following are among the most important:—Trois ans aux Etats-unis (Paris 1858}; La Propriété intellectuelle, etc. (Paris 1858); Histoire d'un inventeur au 19ème Siècle (Paris 1860)—a life of Adolphe Sax, and defence of his claims; Musique et Musiciens (Paris 1862)—a collection of articles originally published in the 'Siècle'; Le Danemark tel qu'il est (Paris 1865); La Musique, les Musiciens, et les Instruments de musique chez les differents peuples du monde (Paris 1869)—an important work, written on the occasion of the Exhibition of 1867; Les Musiciens, les Philosophes, et les Gaietés de la Musique en chiffres (Paris 1870)—a polemical treatise.

[ G. C. ]